Antonio Rudiger has revealed the part he played in convincing Timo Werner to sign for Chelsea, while likening the forward to Jamie Vardy.
Chelsea have quickly made a statement of intent ahead of this summers transfer window with the impending capture of Werner from RB Leipzig, the highly-rated star set to link-up with his new teammates next month after agreeing a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Werner has scored 32 goals in all competitions for the Bundesliga side and Rudiger admits he is relishing the prospect of playing alongside one of Europe’s most exciting talents next season, revealing the role he played in convincing his Germany international teammate to opt for a move to west London.
“Like everyone, I’m very excited that he’s chosen Chelsea and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Rudiger told Chelsea’s website. “I’ve known him since he was 17 and he did very good in the past few years. He can be very important for us.
“I did speak to him before because we have known each other for a long time.
“We spoke a lot during the lockdown and he told me he was interested in coming to England. Of course then I did my bit, what I had to do.”
Rudiger also played alongside Werner during their respective times at Stuttgart and has discussed the ‘humble’ attitude of the prolific forward, adding that he is hopeful the 24-year-old can quickly adapt to the ‘different’ demands of the Premier League.
“I would say he’s a quiet, humble guy, always ready to do better,” Rudiger said.
“I hope he adapts very quickly when he comes because as we all know this competition is different than others.”
The defender admits he has been impressed by his former teammate’s development over the past few seasons, with Werner having scored 76 goals in 126 Bundesliga appearances since signing for Leipzig four years ago.
“His development was just ‘wow’. In his first season everything was new for him in men’s football but then he started scoring more goals and of course with that comes confidence.
To everyone at @ChelseaFC :
I’m incredibly happy to be joining the Blues next season! It feels like the right step for me and I am delighted to become a part of Chelsea FC. Really looking forward to playing for such a fantastic and historic club!
See you soon Chelsea fans! 👋 pic.twitter.com/WLcagJCHWt
— Timo Werner (@TimoWerner) June 18, 2020
“He had very good coaches who believed in him and worked with him.
“He’s a really big threat to defenders. RB Leipzig is a more counter-attacking team but in terms of attacking the defensive line, he’s similar to Vardy. He has a lot of pace and if the defender makes a mistake and loses the ball, then he goes!”